Stop Complaining About Life In The Inland Empire

Living in the Inland Empire is not as bad as some complaints lead us to believe. Yes, there are some high crime areas here, but there are also some low crime areas too. Many people write online about how if you live in the 909 (area code here) that you must be one of several unsavory terms I really do not feel like repeating. Sorry, but not all of the Inland Empire is that way, and there are still many gems to be had in this part of Southern California. The Inland Empire was first named to describe how the San Bernardino and Riverside Counties were Inland from the Los Angeles basin, and to promote the citrus industry in the area. Today Mentone, Redlands, Loma Linda, and Riverside are some of the few areas where you can see orange groves that were once prevalent in the region. Honestly, I hate to see the orange trees cut down as their fragrance is one of the most intoxicating things I have ever encountered. Early this April I would simply walk outside to smell the orange trees, which are very aromatic as I do not live too far from an orange field. Gee, does this sound horrible to you? Yes I know not all parts of the Inland Empire are that peachy, or should I say orangey? However, one thing is for certain; some people are so obsessed with delineating all the bad that they miss the good. This is true for any town or city, so stop focusing on the bad and start finding some of the great things your neck of the woods has to offer, such as hiking trails, libraries, and museums.


An orange tinged sunset up in the San Bernardino Mountains.
An orange tinged sunset up in the San Bernardino Mountains. | Source

What about the San Bernardino Mountains? This wonderful mountain range is just one of the many gems that we have here in the Inland Empire. You really only need to spend a day in Lake Arrowhead Village, but I can recommend checking out several other places. However, if you are new to Lake Arrowhead a trip to the Village is always fun, but not easy to find parking on some weekends and holidays.


The sign dedicated to the Indian Rock Camp.
The sign dedicated to the Indian Rock Camp. | Source
The metate rocks where Serrano Indian women used to grind acorn meal.  The Serrano Indians made their camp at the metate rocks each fall.
The metate rocks where Serrano Indian women used to grind acorn meal. The Serrano Indians made their camp at the metate rocks each fall. | Source

The Indian Rock Camp

Drive to the Indian Rock Trail by taking Highway 173 from Lake Arrowhead Village. The Indian Rock Camp can be hiked to by taking the half mile Indian Rock Trail which ends at the Indian Rock Camp with the plaque in the picture. This is a nice small hike, which is ideal for families with little ones. Once you get to the Indian Rock Camp you can check out the metate rocks, which comes from the Spanish word for grinding mortar. Here Serrano Indian women used to grind acorn meal to help sustain their families for the winter. I highly recommend seeing the metate rocks if you get a chance to go up to the San Bernardino Mountains.

The Indian Rock Trail can be reached by taking Highway 173 from Lake Arrowhead Village, but make sure to go to a visitor center to pick up an adventure pass for parking in the San Bernardino National Forest. Daily adventure passes cost five dollars, but a year long adventure pass costs about thirty. If you come to the mountains several times a year it is a better deal to buy the annual pass, which can be purchased at local ranger stations.

Looking down from the top of The Pinnacles.  Below is Lake Silverwood and The Cajon Pass in the distance.
Looking down from the top of The Pinnacles. Below is Lake Silverwood and The Cajon Pass in the distance.
See how big the rocks are out at The Pinnacles.
See how big the rocks are out at The Pinnacles.

The Pinnacles In Lake Arrowhead

The Pinnacles in Lake Arrowhead are the premier hiking destination for those who seek thrills, or for those who just want a more rigorous hike. Rock climbers can propel themselves up the large rocks out on The Pinnacles, but the more safety conscious people such as myself can hike up The Pinnacles Trail. So did you already buy your San Bernardino National Forest Adventure Pass? Good, because you can use it to park at the trail head, or for parking anywhere else in the San Bernardino Mountains.

The Pinnacles Trail is a steep climb in some places, but it is easy to traverse even for children. Back in the eighties when I was a youngsternI could easily climb this trail, and the trail has been since improved by the Sierra Club, which is a wonderful organization in my humble opinion. Honestly I have always been somewhat of a good hiker having grown up in the mountains, but I definitely recommend hiking for those who do want to get in better shape. Hiking The Pinnacles Trail is not impossible for the novice hiker, but just keep in mind this is not a flat trail. Once you get to the top of The Pinnacles you can look down to Hesperia to below, and over to Cajon Pass and Mount Baldy to the south, and even out towards the San Gorgonio Mountains to the east.

Hopefully seeing there are some great sites in the San Bernardino Mountains will help people realize the Inland Empire is not all bad. We have some very nice communities in the Inland Valley, and one should not forget to visit historic downtown Redlands when in the area. Dining at the Mission Inn in downtown Riverside is also another gem, but the prices are slightly on the higher side. I have never ate at the Mission Inn, but I once volunteered for a book reading there, which gave me the opportunity to explore the building. Many people have weddings at the beautiful chapel there, which is something those marriage minded may want to look into planning their nuptials. The Inland Empire is not all bad, but I noticed people usually find the negative things when they go sifting for drama. Instead, focus on the many gems we have in the Inland Empire, such as museums, great hiking trails, and the heady scent of orange blossoms during the spring.

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Comments 36 comments

countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

Beautiful pictures and yes we need to look at the positives. Btw I hope everybody you know is safe and sound as I heard on the news about fires. Be safe and happy my friend.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

countrywomen,

I feel bad for those who are suffering from fire danger again, but luckily it is about eighty miles from here. However, today was hot and we are experiencing dry weather again, so fire danger is eminent. You are so kind to worry about me and a good friend :).


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

80 miles is still close. I just wish everybody is safe and in these tough times when the economy isn't doing well the last thing we want is even more hardship(without even a roof over heads). I hope those whose homes are lost/damaged get accommodation from govt/friends till they get the paperwork completed and claim the insurance. It is really very unfortunate and wish we could somehow prevent these fires.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

countrywomen,

You are right eighty miles is close, but luckily not as close as during the 2007 fires. As you said in this economy it is not good for people to lose there houses, and fortunately there is some state and federal aid, but it really is not enough in those circumstances. I wish we could prevent fires too, but unfortunately some are started by arsonists. Others are started by natural dry condition and climate change, which definitely does exist and something I can see as evidenced by the changed here SoCal.


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

Well for those started and left behind by mistake shouldn't be treated as negligence(and punished so that no recurrence takes place) since they should have learned those basic things in primary school. About the environment we can't do much but hopefully the response is swift (i.e., instead of waiting for the fire fighters even the common public can take actions to prevent the fire from spreading).

I hope everybody opens there hearts and gives shelter those in need especially in these tough times.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Unfortunately most of the people who started fires were arsonists, and only caught one man recently. It really makes me mad too because he thought it would be fun to set a fire, so you know he had some issues. One thing that made me mad was when people implied FEMA was setting up concentration camps, when in reality they were creating more extensive shelters for evacuees. Of course people who have not lived through fired, hurricanes, or other natural disasters might not realize there is a need for evacuation centers.

Some people do stay behind to fight the fires because if they had waited their houses would be gone.


Jerilee Wei profile image

Jerilee Wei 7 years ago from United States

Brings back a lot of memories of growing up where you live. Never heard the term Inland Empire but then I grew up in the 1950s and 1960s. Went back once to try to live there, too much had changed, too hard to find work in my field. Nice hub!


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Hi Jerilee,

The term has been around since the beginning of the 19th century.  Did you live in the San Bernardino or Ontario area?  If you lived closer to LA maybe you did not hear the term as much, and I think people outside of he Inland area do not hear it as much.  I am just curious if you lived more inland from LA, which would help me to know how common the usage of the word Inland Empire has become.


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

Well what I meant was we have the fire hydrants(which we can't access) and in cases of emergency there should be a way were the residents can take proactive steps or chip in to reduce the fires before the fire fighters arrive (sort of like paramedics).


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

I really appreciate the pictures and info about the Serrano Nation - lest we all forget people who have been here for more than 12,000 years.

I've always been a New Yorker and the term Inland Empire is new to me - I'm always happiest when I learn something new! Your article inspires me to write more about the land, and people - there is so much we don't know about where we live.

Many thanks for taking the time to put together such a thorough hub!

Thanks


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

countrywomen,

Sorry I did not get what you meant earlier. That topic might make a good hub for you to write :).

BkCreative,

I had fun putting together this hub and I look forward to reading future hubs about your city. I think we all have gems in our neck of the woods, but often people only focus on the negative stuff. Here in the Inland Empire some people are caught up in focusing on the negative, but there are positive things too. Oh well, I think we get what we are looking for out of where we live.


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

I have very little practical experience in such a situation. I guess only you can do full justice by writing a hub about some practical dos/dont's(including some suggestions) while involved in a fire hazard. :D


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

countrywomen,

I might write a hub like that, but I am so behind on my arts and crafts project for my examiner articles. I have been a bad egg this week lol.


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

No worries take your own sweet time. Btw even bad eggs are good (for hair treatment)...hehe


Pete Maida profile image

Pete Maida 7 years ago

It sounds like another place for us to visit.


SoManyPaths profile image

SoManyPaths 7 years ago from West Coast USA

I have always known of Lake Arrowhead and Arrowbear nice places. Pinnacle Rock seems like a familiar disturbing film I saw with J Timberlake but they were in a Palm Springs location.


Jerilee Wei profile image

Jerilee Wei 7 years ago from United States

Born and went to school in Long Beach, Santa Ana, Anaheim, Huntington Beach, and Aqua Caliente.  Spent a lot of time at Lake Arrowhead, etc.


Paper Moon profile image

Paper Moon 7 years ago from In the clouds

Fires come, kill the plants. Rainy season, nothing to hold the soil in -rock slides. Mix that in with the quakes the crazies and the prices? You must love the area to to stay there. It is a vast region and must have a lot to offer.


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 7 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA

Mountains, hiking??? Challenging hiking paths? Yes, yes yes!

Beautiful pics and beautiful place.

Thumbs up!


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

countrywomen,

Very true, eggs make a good hair treatment. I just like to call myself a good egg when I get a lot done, and a bad egg when I am not on task. It is just a silly little phrase I use for myself.

Pete,

There are many great things to see in Southern California, so hopefully you can visit soon.


Nancy's Niche profile image

Nancy's Niche 7 years ago from USA

Nice article and great pictures...California is my favorite get-away spot...I love it there!


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

SoManyPaths,

I have not seen that movie with Timberlake.  Thanks for sharing, and glad to hear you are familiar with the area.

Jerilee,

Perhaps the popular use of the word Inland Empire was not as prevalent during the time you lived here.  I know it was first coined at the beginning of the century to call attention to the valley of the citrus industry in the Inland Valley, but it may not have been used by most people until later on.  From the time I was a kid on it was familiar to hear references to the Inland Empire when listening to a radio station transmitting out of the area, or reading a local paper.

That is great you used to vacation up in Lake Arrowhead.  I am sure if you went up to Lake Arrowhead today things would look very built up now, which is kind of sad to me too.  I yearn for the days when the mountains were less urban.  However, it is still a beautiful place, so I just try to focus on the positives.

Paper Moon,

In my opinion you have the same problems everywhere, and to be quite honest why is there a misconception people in California are crazy because you have just as many dodos elsewhere.  Here in the US there is still a certain prejudice against California with people saying "Well he moved to there," to some how infer the transplanted person are a nutty person because all people out here supposedly are is nutty, and all people in the state are too. 

In California you do have more open mindedness on certain topics because of the diversity of culture, but to me that does not make the people nutty.

Natural disasters are prevalent everywhere, so I would not let a few earth quakes and fires scare me off.  Actually, earth quakes are not all that bad or as common as people fear, and back in the nineties people used to have an intense fear of these, but now these seems to have been replaced with other popular issues of the day.

I have seen beautiful things in my state and I just firmly believe this is one of the best places to live in the world.  I have known people from many places that tell me so, and if they feel this way there must be something to it.  Of course I think most people are biased towards their hometown.  Many people move away, but I always felt a deep attachment to my family and state.  I am here to stay.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Tatjana,

I think you would enjoy many of the hiking trails here, like The Pinnacles and The Pacific Crest Trail. During the early spring months with the weather is still cool there are many great hikes to be had.

Nancy,

I am glad you like California, and as you can see I am a little impartial myself.


Cherish77 profile image

Cherish77 7 years ago

Great Hub SP. Its funny how little I have seen of the mountains, even with how many years I have lived up here. I explored only Running Springs for the most part. As a teenager I would visit parts of Deep creek. Now a days, I yearn to go there again, but am a little gun shy, as I have heard there were bear and mountain lion sightings. Im not one to encroach on their territory.

As for natural disasters, I would take an earthquake or a fire over a tornado or hurricane any day.

I had never heard our area referred to as the Inland Empire till I was in Job's Daughters. There are a great many nice areas in the IE, and people that talk badly of the IE, have obviously never been here. They just go be heresay.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Hi Cherish,

I wish I could have explored Big Bear and Running Springs more, but I have not been hiking up in that areas since I was ten.  Deep Creek is nice and I went hiking on the Pacific Crest Trail over back via the Cedar Glen side.

Personally I would rather take earth quakes and fires we have here, but I think people who do not live here fail to realize our natural disasters are not as grave as could be.

I think you are right about mostly people living outside of California talking bad about the IE and SoCal, but I have been shocked by the number of dumb Facebook threads on this subject started by people who live here.  Oh well, they must be bored.

In 2003 I did see a bear when I went running out on Highway 173, so I am lucky I did not get attacked. Now I know bears do not always attack, but I really do not want to be in that situation again to ever find out. When I was younger we used to have more bears, which always got into the trash if it was not secured properly.


Cherish77 profile image

Cherish77 7 years ago

Yeah, we have the trash problem with the raccons, unfortuneately we cannot keep the cans inside, because of ants. Bears do usually avoid us humans, for the most part, but I, like you would rather not take any chances.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Hi Cherish,

We tied bungee cords around the cans and that worked. I recommend not seeing a bear again because I do not particularly relish hanging out with them.


Cherish77 profile image

Cherish77 7 years ago

hehe. What you mean their not cute and cuddly like Winnie? Actually they are, if they aren't ripping you to pieces. But yes, we should all avoid becoming chew toys for bears are other forest creatures.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Bears are cute behind glass.


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 7 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

Greetings - I opened this one to find out where the Inland Empire is, never having heard the term before. So, I've learned something. I suppose the closest I've been would be SF or Vegas. Anyway, a nice collection of photos. Everywhere has something to offer (even Qatar).


Dink96 profile image

Dink96 7 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

Great hub, SweetiePie. My aunt & uncle lived in Pomona and Barstow when I was a small grasshopper and this brought back some pleasant memories.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Paraglider,

The Inland Empire is sort of a funny name for sure, but it was coined to draw attentions to the industries in the Inland Empire. I agree that every place has some lovely aspects, and from what I have seen of pictures of Qatar they have some amazing buildings.

Dink96,

Glad to have brought back some memories.


nms profile image

nms 7 years ago from Cochin

superb pics


marisuewrites profile image

marisuewrites 7 years ago from USA

Very interesting, SWP, you know, I lived in New Mexico for years, and overlooked many tourist areas around me. White Sands was enjoyable, but I soon tired of scraping sand out of my ears and from my toes. LOL

I doooo complain about Florida, tho. Right now we are fighting the "lovebug" Floridians love to hate. I'll have to do a hub about it!! It's a bug that goes in two directions, or could. One is stuck to the other, and one bug faces front and the other back. Plus, they stick to everything imaginable, and don't eat the mosquitoes, for which they were created to do...(I think they were created in a lab -- I'll have to research it...)

It's quite a story. -=)) and annoying. You can't even open your mouth for about 4 - 6 weeks here, and don't inhale!!!


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Hi Marisue,

I suppose everyone has a different take on where they live. If I lived in a cold climate I would probably be complaining more often, since I get chilly so easily. However, there are so many beautiful sites here in the IE and Southern California, so I just do not get peoples' complaints about that. Oh well, I love my state and if they want to move I consider it pollution control because we do have too many people living in our area, and the smog rates would definitely go down if some moved. Personally I would probably not want to live in Florida either, but I would definitely live part time in Hawaii if I could.


anne 6 years ago

hello

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